We started the day working on some hunting and stop when things are thrown. One mistake but after that all went well. I am going back to just working on an automatic stop when things flush or are thrown, rewarding straight away. Erik had lost some desire to Stop as I made the mistake of pushing the duration too quickly due to entering him in a working test. This made the noise issue worse and so really focused my training on the noise issue, hence the blog. Today was the first real hunt and stop work that we had done since the competition and I was happy with what he did. We also did some cue discrimination work on ‘go back’, ‘left’ and ‘right’. Again one mistake but he recalled from the wrong dummy nicely and concentrated well after that. Mostly this morning was looking at what we had so I can make a plan about what to work on.
We did some more work on the collar grab game and started to work on the change your mind game. Erik started to get noisy when the toy came out, also some indecision about going back into the crate. So it seems to be the same triggers – anticipation and a bit of confusion and that triggers the noise. We worked through it a bit and got him sending to the crate with the toy under my arm just rewarding with food. He also came out of the crate when I picked up the toy. I need to go back and consolidate a bit more using lower value toys before moving on. The picture is of Donkey, the culprit! Today’s most exciting toy in the world apparently!!
[The collar grab game is where the dog comes out of the crate when released and goes to the handler has his collar held and is given a reward. The dog is then sent back into the crate with enthusiasm. The change your mind game is when you release the dog straight away after he enters the crate after being sent back to the crate and then they come straight back out and get to play with the toy.]
We did some work on directions whilst out in the park today. We worked with piles of dummies at the foot of posts, trying to increase my distance from Erik and still get correct responses to directions. Only one out of twelve incorrect, so pleased with that. He had one issue where two dummies got tied together in the pile so he wasn’t too keen to go back to that pile again but he worked through it and was happily going to that pile after realising that it wouldn’t happen again. Bless him, he is easily troubled!!!
We then did a bit of crate games when we got back. Definitely gets more excited and starts to make noise when the toys are introduced into the mix. So I just take a break whenever he starts to make noise. We will see if this means that in the long term he can contain himself for greater periods of time.